In today's economy, the "college for all" mentality has created a lopsided workforce in our country. While 66% of high school graduates in the U.S. enroll in higher education right after high school, only 25% of those enrolled will finish their degree; a degree that may leave them underemployed in a job that doesn't require their degree.
In 2018, Harvard University predicts that only 33% of all U.S. jobs will require a four-year degree, while 57% will require technical skills and training at the credential or Associate's Degree level. For every one job that requires a Master's degree or higher, there are two jobs requiring a four-year university degree, and there are seven jobs requiring a one-year certificate or two-year degree in technical training.
We fight for a Lancaster County where everyone can obtain the education needed to get a good job and become financially resilient. This is just one of Four Bold Goals that United Way of Lancaster County is striving to accomplish by 2025. Our Collective Impact Partnerships are identifying community barriers to education and employment and are working with people to help them achieve their goals. Here are just a few examples of that work:
- Together Initiative Network organized by The Factory Ministries, serves individuals and families in eastern Lancaster County. The Partnership's Together Community Center in Paradise is a community hub that houses resources and education workshops, including behavioral healthcare provided by Community Services Group (CSG), and GED courses offered by The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon.
- Integration Services for New Americans supports our community's newest members from around the world through cultural orientation provided by Church World Service, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses provided by The Literacy Council of Lancaster-Lebanon, and houses a Refugee Center at Reynolds Middle School. Illiteracy and underemployment are two main issues that affect the immigrant and refugee population that Integration Services for New Americans helps individuals overcome, especially as we look to diversify our workforce in Lancaster County.
But our work towards education for all continues. We invite you to join us in our fight, because United We Fight. United We ALL Win.